Making The Dean’s List
I start this blog with the perfunctory disclaimer: As I learned last winter, when I write my truest feelings here at WSAZ.COM some readers live and die by my every word. That’s flattering, but at the same time ill-advised. Weather forecasting is an art! Telling you why something happened yesterday is 100% science and truth.
I use that as a backdrop to the prediction of the first hurricane of the season. His name will be Dean and before his romp thru the Atlantic and Gulf is complete, he may well send our gas prices up (75% chance), send Floridians into a panic (50% chance) and make weather headlines as a major hurricane (40% chance).
This Monday afternoon, a swirl of clouds located closer to Africa and South America than the US, is showing signs of strengthening into a tropical storm. WHEN, NOT IF, this occurs, Dean will be christened a bouncing baby boy.
What makes “Dean” an especially intriguing storm to watch is the X factor. You see our supercomputers from Canada, America and Europe have been predicting this event now for almost a week. While their paths and intensity varied greatly, all 3 printed out a major hurricane close by to the US by early next week. In fact, as I told a friend who has family in South Florida just this morning, the risk of a hurricane next week is something that must be closely scrutinized.
Oddly, if this storm makes its way into the Gulf of Mexico (50-50 chance), then those low gas prices we have enjoyed much of the summer will spike up. Right now, I intend to gas up this week before the energy futures start pricing in a hurricane risk. I would take a first guess that gas would spike back above $3 per gallon this weekend and if a full fledged tempest makes it into the Gulf, $3.50-$4 per gallon is not out of the question before Labor day weekend.
As to why the hurricane season is late in starting, I surmise the winds in the upper atmosphere have been strong enough to act as an impediment to storm development in the far Eastern Atlantic. Think of it this way, if you run head-first into a strong wind, your speed is much reduced. Once the winds slackens you make much better time and with less effort.
The first half of the hurricance seaosn has provided such "adverse winds" into the face of would be storms. Now as we enter PRIME TIME for hurricane development, those winds are not destructive. In fact, they are going to be very CONSTRUCTIVE later this week which will lead to rapid intensification of Dean. That's especially true since bath-like tropical waters are ahead of the wave's path (the one that should become Dean) and warm waters act like a steroid from which storms can intensify.
So look for Dean to be named on Tuesday and look for the first hurricane watch of the season for parts of the Antilles by Wednesday and Thursday. After all, tis the season....as we are reminded by the ancient Mariner’s saying that dates back to the days when Columbus sailed the 7 seas…
As hurricanes go…
August be onYour Guard for a September you will remember!
Yes, it is time to be on guard for hurricanes!